Staying on top of good dental hygiene requires dedication and diligence. When other oral devices come into play, such as dentures or braces, there are even more responsibilities relating to cleanliness and health. Luckily, good dental habits are often the foundation for care when it comes to other dental devices, making it easier to maintain healthy teeth through any stage of life. No matter what dental device may become necessary for you down the road, read our tips to ensure your overall oral health.
Adapting to a new way of brushing your teeth with braces can be tricky at first, but it is a crucial step to maintaining both the condition of your braces and the health of your teeth. Start by swirling water around in your mouth to loosen up any debris, and then use a toothbrush to remove built-up food and plaque from your brackets, wires, and teeth. Pay close attention to the spaces in between the metal and your teeth.
Don’t Skip the Floss
While flossing may seem impossible with wires in the way, there are brands of floss that are specifically designed for braces. Floss threaders and Soft Picks are great ways to clear out the spaces in between your teeth and prevent future decay.
Pay Attention to What you Eat
Foods that can harm your teeth have the potential to pose an even greater threat to braces. Popcorn is notorious for getting stuck in your teeth, and when you have braces the kernels can be even more difficult to remove. Hard candy, sticky foods, and ice all have the ability to break brackets and wires, resulting in an emergency trip to the orthodontist. The rule of thumb is: if it’s bad for your natural teeth, it should definitely be avoided while you have braces.
Stay on Top of your Appointments
During the time period that you wear braces, it’s important to visit your orthodontist and your dentist regularly. Dentists can still provide cleanings with braces on, and at Ashley Dental we can help show you the best brushing and flossing practices for braces if you’re running into trouble. Following up with your dentist and orthodontist will help ensure that your teeth and braces look good and healthy.
Consistency is Key
Invisible braces allow you to maintain your normal brushing and flossing habits without the need to seek out special tools created for metal braces. While daily brushing and flossing are important no matter what, good dental care is crucial when it comes to wearing invisible braces. If the clear aligners are worn without brushing, they can become a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria.
Clean Your Aligners Well
Even dry saliva contains bacteria that can lead to dental problems, so it’s important to clean your aligners after use. A mild soap and warm water is the best way to keep your invisible braces clean. Avoid cleaning your aligners with toothpaste, mouthwash, or hot water. Toothpaste can be abrasive and scratch the plastic, mouthwash can stain the aligner, and hot water can distort the shape and ruin the aligner completely.
Remove and Rinse After Eating
Even if you’ve maintained good dental habits throughout your life, tooth loss is possible in old age, making dentures necessary. After eating, remove and rinse your dentures to remove food debris and promote cleanliness.
Clean your Dentures Daily
At the minimum, dentures should be brushed daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a nonabrasive denture cleanser. If you use denture adhesive, be sure to clean the grooves to remove any remaining adhesive residue. Once brushed, place your dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight. If you use a denture-soaking solution, be sure to rinse your dentures well before wearing them the next day to avoid consuming any chemicals in the solution. If you have any questions about overnight storage of your dentures, feel free to contact us!
Keep your Mouth Clean
Cleaning your mouth and your dentures make for a clean slate each day that you wear them. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean natural teeth, your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth. Staying on track with regular dentist appointments will help maintain your overall oral health. We can also help ensure that your dentures fit properly, help resolve any slippage or discomfort, or answer any other questions you may have.